There’s no one more foolish than a person who goes to watch a movie in a multiplex for the simple pleasure of cinema. The movie is just a means to soak in the liveliness and chirpiness of people who accidentally ended up in the same hall as you. You can close your eyes and sink back on your cushy seat as you tap your feet to the mellifluous symphony of a gaggle of kids screaming in unison. Surprisingly, their parents, oblivious to their progeny’s talents, continue to stare poker-faced at the screen. Just as your attention is diverted by the antics of a certain Bakshy out to save Kolkata from the evil clutches of the Japanese army, a tiny head will sneak in from behind and startle you with, Pappa, potty janaa hai. Overcome by guilt, you will immediately get up and offer to take the hapless soul to the restroom to unburden him from toxins playing havoc in his tiny intestines.
You can learn pick-up tricks from Rakesh Jee on how to negotiate as he strikes a business deal on loudspeaker mode on his phone. If possible, give him an encouraging smile and wave, so what if he can’t see you in the dark! Wearing a neon coloured lipstick helps.
I still can’t fathom why our filmmakers invest so much money and passion in making movies when all we need is a bucket of popcorn, litres of Coke or Pepsi, a cool dark hall reverberating with chatter of merry men and women, to have a good time! It’s so much fun to be seated on time and be able to offer your feet for the stamping pleasure of a bunch of giggly college girls who arrive fashionably late.
Thanks to my many sojourns to movie halls, I now know intimate details about strangers who insist on gossiping with Dolby surround sound. Sometimes when I’m in a genial mood, I walk down and offer them advice on where to procure top quality diamonds at reasonable price and dealing with demanding mothers-in-law by mixing pee in their tea.
I also get to test my long distance vision by reading status updates on mobiles 5 rows ahead of me. Most of them are busy critiquing the movie, pointing out the flaws in the script, the poor editing and pathetic acting skills of the lead actors.
Wow, you have to be really talented to analyse a movie without even bothering to watch it!
Once upon a time I was a fool like you, who’d bemoan the complete lack of consideration many of our countrymen display for fellow movie-goers. I had little patience for people who’d treat movie halls as their own private space, moisturising your hair with their spit as they noisily munched tonnes of snacks and exchanged pleasantries on the phone with long lost relatives. I would experience extreme emotional distress when my loud sobs, empathising with the doe eyed heroine’s anguish (as her sadistic Ma chopped off her finger to teach her errant daughter a lesson), would be rudely interrupted by loud guffaws from insensitive louts. I would often end up trying to shush these specimens and unfairly subject them to my dagger eye treatment in an attempt to reform them. A few times I even had the audacity to wonder why parents drag their toddlers to Adult certified movies and subject them to blood and gore and other hanky-panky stuff? Why does the Censor Board spend weeks on certification when everyone, including movie management, treats it as a RaGa or Aliya B joke?
Not anymore. Thanks to a new me, I never have a dull moment, irrespective of how bad or good the movie is! Because I have little expectation of etiquette from others, I sit back and enjoy the show, on and off the screen. My favourite part is when Sunny Leone shakes her inner booty on the silver screen. I whistle and woot loudly and kick the back of the seat with my heels to express my appreciation. If I accidently walk in for an artsy movie and discover it’s dull and boring with no masaledar sex scenes, I start reading WhatsApp jokes loudly to anybody who’d care to listen. At a philosophical level, such rude reminders of reality keep the viewer stay grounded, helping them stay uninvolved with the stuff on the screen, all of which is virtual and maya twice removed. I mean, how many villages have the likes of Bipasha in fully made-up splendour, crooning huskily?
Also, I’m seriously considering having another baby, raise him to be a brat and let him loose on all those poker-faced parents whose kids I took to the restroom.
Why be the long suffering bahu of a saas-bahu weepy, when you can choose to be the scheming saas?
Once you become the uncouth nincompoop you’d been dying to change, movie watching will no longer be an agonizing affair. If you can’t change them, become one of them and torture them with the same behaviour they subject you to. As such, enjoying a movie for sheer cinematic pleasure is so last century.